Saturday, August 30, 2008

Boeing Statement on IAM Recommendation to Strike

Boeing Statement on IAM Recommendation to Strike

SEATTLE, Aug. 29, 2008 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] is extremely disappointed that the union is recommending that our employees reject what adds up to be the best contract in the aerospace industry.

We offered employees a significant increase in pay and pension, and we maintained our outstanding health care benefits. Our best and final offer rewards employees for the company's success and allows us to remain competitive.

We hope our employees recognize the value of our best and final offer. We encourage them to study it, evaluate what it means to them and their families, and vote in their best interest on Sept. 3.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Royal Navy prepares to roll out the big guns

Royal Navy prepares to roll out the big guns

An Equipment and Logistics news article
28 Aug 08

The Royal Navy has enlisted the help of industry to design and produce a powerful 155mm heavy gun to beef up its existing warships and the fleet's sleek and stealthy new Type 45 destroyers.

The MOD's Defence Technology & Innovation Centre (DTIC) is working with BAE Systems and QinetiQ to look at increasing the Royal Navy's firepower in support of land forces and construction of a prototype heavy gun is already underway. Once completed, the gun will undergo trials to assess its suitability for use on Royal Navy warships.

A new £4m contract will see BAE Systems and QinetiQ work together to build a trials gun mount and firing trials are scheduled to take place on an MOD range next year.

The prototype is based on the 155mm Howitzers now deployed by the British Army but with a much longer barrel and which fires shells that are twice as heavy as those fired by the Navy's current 1960s vintage 114mm calibre guns.

The new 155mm shells could deliver a 50 per cent improvement on the range of the Navy's existing 114mm shells with the increase in explosive power rendering the new shells four times as effective on targets.

The Navy's Type 45 Daring-class destroyers were designed to be able to carry a 155mm gun as a possible upgrade to their firepower.

MOD project leader Nick Overfield, Maritime Integrated Technology Team Leader at DTIC, said:

"We're looking at the possibility of going from the existing naval 114mm gun to a 155mm because there are potentially many advantages. They include much greater range, hugely increased effects on the target and our ability to use the same ammunition as the Army.

"There are many advanced types of 155mm shell in production or in development to which the Navy would have access were we to go down this route.

"We're also looking at doing it through a very cost-effective route. We believe – and these trials will tell us for sure – that the Navy's existing 114mm gun mount, as used on our frigates and destroyers, is strongly-built enough to deal with increased firing stresses of a 155mm gun.

"Our initial investigations have told us this appears to be the case. Now we plan to test our theory on the firing ranges.

"The study is still just that - a study - but we've made some exciting steps forward and will get to see the gun fire next year. If successful it gives us the option to proceed further towards manufacture and fit."

The new gun is one of eight projects in a three-year Maritime Surface Effects research programme, which examines a number of modern naval issues, including offensive and defensive surface warfare, coastal suppression and naval fire support as well as the role of unmanned surface vehicles.

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General Dynamics Delivers Submarine New Hampshire To U.S. Navy Ahead of Schedule

General Dynamics Delivers Submarine New Hampshire To U.S. Navy Ahead of Schedule

GROTON, Conn. (August 28) – General Dynamics Electric Boat today delivered the New Hampshire (SSN-778), the nation’s newest and most advanced nuclear-powered attack submarine, to the U.S. Navy eight months ahead of schedule. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).

At a brief shipyard ceremony, Electric Boat President John Casey gave credit to the Navy, the shipbuilders and the supplier base for achieving the early delivery date. “This ship is a tangible reflection of the skill and craft of thousands of industry and shipyard workers. And it clearly demonstrates the nation’s commitment to a strong national defense,” he said.

"As a result of numerous production and process improvements, Electric Boat is delivering New Hampshire to the Navy in 71 months, 16 months fewer than the lead ship," Casey continued. "Put another way, we reduced the time between when the ship enters the water and when it is delivered from 14 months on the first ship of the class to less than 6 months on the New Hampshire."

New Hampshire is the fifth ship of the Virginia Class, the Navy’s first major class of combatant ships designed with the post-Cold War security environment in mind. Virginia-class submarines embody warfighting and operational capabilities required to dominate the littorals while maintaining undersea dominance in the open ocean.

“Like the previous ships of the class, New Hampshire has been designed specifically to incorporate emergent technologies that will provide new capabilities to meet new threats,” Casey said. “This enables the Virginia Class to make unique and significant contributions to national security for decades to come,” he said.

Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding have received contracts to build the first 10 submarines of a planned 30-ship Virginia Class under a teaming agreement that splits the construction workload between the two shipyards.

General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 84,600 people worldwide and anticipates 2008 revenues of approximately $29.5 billion. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available on the Internet at

Virginia-Class characteristics
Displacement: 7,835 tons
Length: 377 feet
Beam: 34 feet
Payload: 40 weapons; special operations forces; unmanned undersea vehicles
Weapons Launch: Four 21-inch torpedo tubes; 12 vertical-launch system tubes
Weapons: Tomahawk land-attack missiles; Mark 48 advanced capability torpedoes
Crew: 134 officers and enlisted men

Ships of the class
USS Virginia (SSN 774
USS Texas (SSN 775)
USS Hawaii (SSN 776)
USS North Carolina (SSN 777)
New Hampshire (SSN 778)
New Mexico (SSN 779)
Missouri (SSN 780)
California (SSN 781)
Mississippi (SSN 782)
Minnesota (SSN 783)
North Dakota (SSN-784)
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SUNNYVALE, Calif., August 28th, 2008 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] announced today that the U.S. Air Force has certified readiness for dedicated operational utility evaluation and trial period operations of the first Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO-1) payload and associated ground system in preparation for use by the warfighter.

SBIRS is designed to provide early warning of missile launches, and simultaneously support other missions including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness. Announced to be on-orbit in Nov. 2006, the HEO-1 payload has been exceeding expectations during an extensive on-orbit test regimen necessary before beginning on-orbit operations for the user.

"The HEO system's outstanding performance and reliability is a true testament to the dedication, skill and operational excellence of our entire SBIRS team," said Col Roger Teague, the U.S. Air Force’s SBIRS Wing Commander. "We look forward to successfully executing the next step's necessary to making this critical national asset operational for the warfighter this year."

As part of the operational utility evaluation, the system will enter trial period operations in which for the first time, live HEO data will be injected into the warfighters operational networks providing critical warning and intelligence data. This will culminate with United States Strategic Command’s final certification of the HEO-1 payload and ground processing elements later this year when the HEO sensor and its data will be declared operationally proven and accepted.

"Our number one priority is delivering mission success for our customer," said Jeff Smith, Lockheed Martin's SBIRS vice president. “We take great pride that the HEO system is providing superior detection and reporting capabilities for the warfighters, and we look forward to further enhancing the SBIRS mission with the launch of the first geosynchronous spacecraft next year."

The SBIRS team is led by the Space Based Infrared Systems Wing at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, Calif., as the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.

"With its high-quality sensor performance, SBIRS will provide substantial mission utility to the warfighter," said Steve Toner, vice president of the SBIRS program for Northrop Grumman. "We are confident that HEO-1 will operate well throughout the trial period."

The U.S. Air Force/Lockheed Martin-led team recently announced that the HEO-2 payload is now on-orbit and that its performance meets or exceeds specifications following early on-orbit checkout. In addition to detecting ballistic missile launches from polar regions, HEO payloads also have improved sensitivity needed to detect dimmer theater missiles and can be tasked to scan other areas of military interest. The HEO-2 payload is expected to begin operations by early 2009.

The HEO sensor provides an unprecedented infrared view of the battlefield that represents the first steps in an evolving battlespace awareness capability while also providing real-time data on missiles, aircraft and other events.

The team is also progressing through key integration and test activities on the first geosynchronous orbit (GEO) spacecraft. Preparations are now underway to integrate the GEO-1 satellite's solar arrays, deployable light shade, and thermal blankets in preparation for the start of acoustic and pyroshock testing when the integrated spacecraft will be subjected to the maximum sound and vibration levels expected during launch into orbit. Thermal vacuum testing of the completed GEO-1 space vehicle, which will validate its performance at temperature extremes greater than those expected during on-orbit operations, is on track for mid-2009 in preparation for launch in Dec. 2009.

As the SBIRS prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company provides program management, the GEO spacecraft bus, HEO and GEO payload pointing, and system engineering and integration. Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services builds and maintains the SBIRS ground segment which has been operational since 2001. Northrop Grumman is the major subcontractor and provides the HEO and GEO payloads and participates in ground system development and systems engineering.

Lockheed Martin's current SBIRS contract includes the two HEO payloads now on-orbit, two GEO satellites, as well as ground-based assets to receive and process the infrared data. The program is in the early stages of adding additional GEO spacecraft and HEO payloads to the planned constellation.

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28 Aug 2008 | Ref. 235/2008

Lucy Reilly Fitch, Vice President of Corporate Communications
ROCKVILLE, Maryland -- Lucy Reilly Fitch has been named Vice President of Corporate Communications for BAE Systems, Inc. Previously, Lucy was the company’s Vice President for Mergers & Acquisitions.

“Lucy's selection follows an extensive search process,” said Walt P. Havenstein, CEO of BAE Systems, Inc. “Given her experience with BAE Systems in both M&A and Strategy, and her background as a journalist, Lucy is the ideal person to lead and shape our Communications efforts as we continue to grow the business and meet our customers’ needs.”

Since joining BAE Systems in 2000, Lucy has led both the Strategy & M&A functions, helping to increase revenues through acquisition by more than US $9 billion. In 2006, she received the Association for Corporate Growth’s (National Capital Chapter) “Deal of the Year” award for completing the largest defense transaction in the industry in 2005 for the US $4.2 billion acquisition of United Defense Inc. In 2005, ACG awarded Lucy “Dealmaker of the Year – Corporate” award for five transactions closed in 2004, valued at more than US $800 million.

Prior to joining BAE Systems, she was the Director of Business Development and Strategic Planning for Lockheed Martin’s Aeronautics Sector in Bethesda, Maryland. Previous posts include Vice President of Business Development at ManTech Systems Solutions Corporation, and Manager of Strategic Analysis at Hughes Aircraft Corporation (now Raytheon Company), where she led that company’s competitive intelligence efforts.

Before joining the defense industry in 1993, Lucy was an award-winning business journalist for a variety of publications including Washington Technology, King Publishing’s New Technology Week, and the American City Business Journals group, which included: Washington Business Journal, Richmond (Virginia) Business Journal, and Jacksonville (Florida) Business Journal.

A native of Kansas City, Kansas, Lucy holds a Masters in Business Administration (International) from Georgetown University and an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Kansas State University.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Boeing Increases Employee Pay and Pension in Best and Final Offer

Boeing Increases Employee Pay and Pension in Best and Final Offer

General Wage Increases of 11 percent over three years
Cost-of-Living Adjustments projected to add nearly 3 percent more to pay
Lump-Sum Payment of 6% of annual pay -- or $2,500 -- whichever is greater
First-vote ratification bonus of $2,500 if the contract is approved on or before Sept. 3
Pensions increased to $80/month per year of service -- tops in the aerospace industry

SEATTLE, Aug. 28, 2008 -- Boeing [NYSE:BA] today presented its best and final contract offer to almost 27,000 employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Washington, Oregon and Kansas.

The contract proposal rewards employees for their role in the company's success with General Wage Increases of 11 percent over three years, cost-of-living adjustments, and increasing the pension to an industry-leading $80/month for each year of credited service. The offer also provides a lump-sum payment, a first-vote ratification bonus, an incentive pay plan, and outstanding health insurance at a fraction of the cost most Americans pay.

On average, the offer will provide employees with $34,000 in additional pay over the term of the three-year contract.

"This offer represents the best package of pay and benefits in the aerospace industry," said Doug Kight, Boeing vice president of Human Resources. "At the same time, it's a contract offer that allows our company to meet its commitments to customers and sustain our success into the future."

Kight stressed that Boeing listened to the union and to employees and responded to their top priorities, including providing employees with the best and final offer before the Labor Day weekend so they could have time to study the proposal before the ratification vote. Full details of the offer are available at The union has scheduled a vote on the company's best and final offer on Wednesday, Sept. 3.

In addition to improving pay and benefits, Boeing made significant movements during negotiations on issues that remain important to the company but were of concern to the union. These include:
Withdrawing a proposal to no longer offer early retiree medical coverage to individuals hired in the future.
Withdrawing a proposal to create a new defined-contribution retirement program for individuals hired in the future.
Withdrawing a proposal to negotiate a separate contract for Boeing employees in Wichita to better align the company's operations in Kansas with competitors in the military aircraft modification business.
Withdrawing proposed changes on facilities maintenance subcontracting.

"We hope that our employees will recognize this as an outstanding offer by all measures," Kight said. "We encourage employees to take time to review the offer carefully, discuss it with their families, and vote in their best interest."

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Force Protection to Restate Interim Consolidated Financial Statements for First and Second Quarters

Force Protection to Restate Interim Consolidated Financial Statements for First and Second Quarters
Publisher: Force Protection, Inc.
Date: 08/28/2008

--Company Intends to File Form 10-K for Fiscal Year 2007 with SEC on or before September 15, 2008--

Ladson, SC (August 28, 2008) -- Force Protection, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) today announced that, as a result of the ongoing review of the Company’s September 30, 2007 interim and 2007 full year consolidated financial statements, it has concluded that it is necessary to restate its previously reported financial statements for the three month period ended March 31, 2007 and the three and six month periods ended June 30, 2007 and that such financial statements should no longer be relied upon. The Company will file a Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission with regard to this restatement decision. On March 3, 2008, the Company previously announced that its previously reported interim financial statements for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2007 would be restated and should no longer be relied on.

The Company reached the conclusion to restate based upon the recommendation of management and the concurrence of the Audit Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors. Management discovered accounting errors during its 2007 interim period and year-end review, including errors associated with recognizing the value of revenue, certain accrued liabilities, inventory and deferred taxes in the proper quarterly periods. The Company discussed the matters related to the restatement with Grant Thornton LLP, the Company’s current independent registered public accounting firm. Therefore, the Company’s previously issued consolidated financial statements of the Company for the first and second quarters of 2007 filed on Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q on May 15, 2007 and August 9, 2007, as well as the third quarter of 2007 filed on Form 10-Q on November 13, 2007, should not be relied upon until the restated financial statements are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the restatement information disclosed therein is fully considered.

The Company intends to file an Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 with the Securities and Exchange Commission on or before September 15, 2008. The Company anticipates that its consolidated statement of operations included in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 will report net sales of approximately $890 million, representing an increase of over $694 million from net sales of $196 million for the year ended December 31, 2006. The increase in net sales was primarily due to contracts awarded under the United States military’s Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (“MRAP”) vehicle program. Although revenues increased in 2007, the Company expects that 2007 net income will be significantly lower than the $16.6 million of net income that the Company reported for the year ended December 31, 2006.

The Company continues to evaluate the impact of the matters described above on its internal controls over financial reporting and the Company’s disclosure controls and procedures. Management noted it had previously identified and described material weaknesses in its internal control over financial reporting in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed on November 13, 2007. As a result of these previously identified material weaknesses and other deficiencies identified during the review of financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2007, management has concluded that the Company’s internal control over financial reporting was not effective as of December 31, 2007. Additionally, management does not believe that the material weaknesses identified as of December 31, 2007 will be remediated by September 30, 2008 and anticipates that material weaknesses will be identified in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the first, second and third quarters of 2008.

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Karen Rice Appointed RSL Director of Communications

Karen Rice Appointed RSL Director of Communications
Date posted: 08/28/2008*

UXBRIDGE, U.K., (Aug. 27 2008) - Karen Rice has been appointed Raytheon Systems Limited Director of Communications.

Rice will be responsible for developing and implementing RSL’s communication plans to reach all internal and external audiences, managing the company’s relationship with the media, advancing the Raytheon brand and reputation in the U.K., leading an effective community relations program, and coordinating the communication efforts for program capture and execution associated with specific Raytheon businesses in country.

Rice is an accomplished senior communications professional with more than 25 years’ experience encompassing media relations, public affairs, government relations, and most recently, organizational communications as the director, organizational communications for Raytheon Company. Prior to joining Raytheon in 2001, she worked in broadcast media for a number of years and served as a legislative aide for a member of the U.S. Congress.

Brian McKeon, RSL chief executive and managing director, said, “Karen’s appointment, along with her considerable experience and talent, reflects the importance we place on communications in supporting the company’s growth strategies, both within the U.K. and throughout the EU.”

Raytheon Systems Limited is the U.K.-based subsidiary of Raytheon Company. It is a prime contractor and major supplier to the U.K. Ministry of Defence and has developed strong capabilities in mission systems integration in defence, national security and commercial markets. RSL also designs, develops and manufactures a range of high technology electronic systems and software at its facilities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), with 2007 sales of $21.3 billion, is a technology leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 86 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 72,000 people worldwide.


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RAND: An Examination of Options to Reduce Underway Training Days Through the Use of Simulation

An Examination of Options to Reduce Underway Training Days Through the Use of Simulation

By: Roland J. Yardley, Harry J. Thie, Christopher Paul, Jerry M. Sollinger, Alisa Rhee

U.S. Navy surface combatant ship crew training involves a combination of shore-based, onboard pier-side, and underway training. Underway training is expensive, however, and it increases wear and tear on operating equipment. Furthermore, constrained budgets and increasing recapitalization costs have forced the Navy to examine various methods — such as increased use of simulators — to reduce the annual operating costs of the fleet.

Technological improvements have increased the fidelity and realism of simulators, and simulation is being used more widely for training within the U.S. Navy, in other navies, and in commercial shipping companies. Although the Navy’s surface combatant community currently uses simulators in its training regimen, an increased use of simulation could potentially improve training efficiency, sustain training readiness, and reduce underway days. Focusing on the DDG-51 Arleigh Burke class of surface combatants, RAND examines the training requirements of surface forces, determines where credit is granted for the use of simulation, estimates what training is done underway, examines simulation technology, and identifies areas where simulation could be substituted for underway training without any decrease in readiness.

The authors find that although most exercises are done underway, many could be done in port with or without the use of simulators. Accordingly, the Navy should consider (1) investing in shore-based engineering simulators, (2) directing that exercises that can be done in port be done in port, and (3) accelerating the upgrades that are slowly providing DDG-51–class ships with an embedded engineering training capability.

Support RAND Research — Buy This Product!
ISBN/EAN: 9780833045072

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India Chief of Army Staff visit to UK

India Chief of Army Staff visit to UK
15:55 IST
Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, is undertaking a four days tour to UK from 01 to 04 September 2008.

India shares good bilateral and strategic relations with UK that are multifaceted and have been strengthened over the years with regular exchange of visits at political, diplomatic and military levels. A strong bilateral relationship is of priority for both countries for economic and commercial, historical and foreign policy reasons and large Indian diaspora in UK. The visit by the COAS will add the necessary impetus to the existing defence relationship and broad-base it into a mutually beneficial partnership.

Our relations in the field of defence with UK have graduated from military cooperation to comprehensive defence comprehensive defence cooperation, to include courses, training for UN Peacekeeping Operations, joint training cum exercises in the fields of counter terrorism including employment of Special Forces, Mechanised Forces operations and exchange of observers on each others’ Army exs etc.

During his visit, the COAS will be interaction with the senior military and civilian defence hierarchy and will discuss various defence related issues to strengthen existing defence ties with UK. The COAS will be visiting Royal School of Artillery at Larkhill, Defence Academy at Shrivenham, Land Warfare Centre in Salisbury plains, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland and National Army Museum. During his visit to Land Warfare Centre, General Deepak Kapoor will witness the training and preparation of Indian Mechanised Company which will be participating in a first ever joint training cum exercise on mechanized operations overseas with UK Land Warfare Centre Battle Gp (LWC BG) from 27 Aug – 26 Sep 2008.. This exercise is a reciprocal engagement to an earlier exercise carried out in High Altitude areas of India in end 07 between Indian paratroopers and Royal Marines..


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General Dynamics Awarded $13 Million for Abrams Tank System Technical Support

August 27, 2008

General Dynamics Awarded $13 Million for Abrams Tank System Technical Support

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. – General Dynamics Land Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), has been awarded a $12.6 million contract for Abrams Tank Systems Technical Support (STS).

This award funds engineering studies on the Abrams main battle tank to identify improvements and replace obsolete parts to maintain the vehicle at high operational readiness rates.

Work will be performed by existing General Dynamics Land Systems employees in Sterling Heights, Mich. It is expected to be completed by December 31, 2011.

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Serco: SI International Acquisition

SI International Acquisition
Date : 26 August 2008

Creates a strong foundation for growth and delivery of higher value services into the US government services market

Serco has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire SI International, a NASDAQ listed provider of information services, outsourcing, technology and network solutions to the US Department of Defense and civil government agencies, for US$32 per share in cash, valuing its fully diluted share capital at approximately US$423m.
The acquisition will enhance Serco’s ability to deliver integrated solutions to the US$290bn US government services market, with:
Scale to bid for substantial supplier roles on large US government contracts. SI International and Serco North America will have combined revenues of US$1.3bn
Depth of capabilities to enhance Serco North America’s existing offerings
Access to higher growth areas, particularly larger Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) models increasingly used in the North American market
New customer relationships, with SI International and Serco North America having highly complementary customer bases
The consideration represents a premium of 40% to SI International’s closing share price on 26 August 2008.
The consideration values SI International, including the assumption of its net debt, which at 28 June 2008 was US$87.3m, at approximately US$510m, representing a multiple of approximately 12.3 times 2008 adjusted analyst forecast EBITDA.
The proposed acquisition, which will be financed exclusively from new fully committed multi currency bank facilities, is expected to be accretive to Serco’s Adjusted earnings in its first full year of ownership, and its returns are expected to meet Serco’s cost of capital in the third full year of ownership.
The acquisition, which is unanimously approved by the Board of SI International, is subject to SI International shareholder approval, regulatory clearances and customary closing conditions, and is expected to complete before the end of 2008.
Serco Group Chief Executive Christopher Hyman said: “The acquisition of SI International will significantly expand the scale and potential of Serco’s North American operations. The management and employees of both our organisations have a strong track record and shared commitment to delivering critical services to the US government.

“Our capabilities are highly complementary and together we will create a stronger organisation that will have customers across all US Armed Forces, the US Intelligence services and a number of Federal government agencies. Our enhanced presence as a top 30 supplier in the substantial US Federal services market will provide a stronger platform for future growth. Furthermore, we will be able to offer customers access to more integrated solutions from a company with global reach and proven expertise in transforming government services. ”

SI International President and Chief Executive Officer Brad Antle, said: “We are pleased that we can join a company of Serco’s stature and success. We have had a tremendous track record during our ten-year history and are very proud of the leading position we have achieved in the government services sector. Now is the right time to go to the next level so the services we provide to our customers are enhanced by the scale and global reach that Serco can offer.”

Transaction Overview
Serco Group plc (Serco) today announces that it has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire SI International, a NASDAQ listed provider of information services, outsourcing, technology and network solutions to both US defense and civil government agencies.

Under the agreement, which is unanimously approved by the board of SI International, shareholders in SI International will receive US$32 per share in cash, valuing SI International’s fully diluted share capital at approximately US$423m, and representing a premium of 40% to SI International’s closing share price on 26 August 2008.

The consideration values SI International, including the assumption of its net debt, which at 28 June 2008 was US$87.3m, at approximately US$510m, representing a multiple of approximately 12.3 times 2008 analyst forecast EBITDA.

Strategic Rationale
SI International will be integrated with Serco’s existing North American business, and the combination will strengthen the North American division’s presence in the US federal government services market, with a broad portfolio of clients, contracts and capabilities. This will provide a strong foundation for growth and delivery of higher value services into this substantial market.

The acquisition of SI International will:
Increase Serco North America’s scale: With revenue of approximately US$1.3bn and approximately 11,500 employees, the combined businesses will rank alongside US government contractors with revenue of more than US$1bn who are able to compete for more significant roles in larger government contracts
Enhance the depth of our capabilities in North America: SI International will add to the depth of Serco North America’s capabilities, notably in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Professional, Administrative and Management Support (PAMS)
Of SI International’s 4,500 employees, approximately 80% hold security clearances or national agency checks and 13% have a top secret clearance or above. SI International employs more than 500 professionals in its Applications Development practice area, and has more than 100 employees who are certified as Project Management Professionals. These skills are highly complementary to Serco’s existing strong capabilities in human capital management, engineering, cost analysis and transportation management.
Provide access to higher growth areas: The US government services market is predicted to grow at approximately 5% - 8% per annum into the medium term. Indefinite Delivery Vehicles (IDVs), which are large scale contract vehicles through which customers issue many smaller task orders at short notice to a pre-qualified group of contractors, are increasingly the preferred contracting method in this market, and SI International’s track record in successfully bidding on large IDVs will enhance Serco North America’s ability to grow.
Broaden and deepen our quality customer relationships in North America: SI International’s customer base is highly complementary to Serco North America’s, which is primarily focused on the US Army and Navy. SI International will add strong customer relationships with the US Air Force, US intelligence and security agencies, and certain agencies within the Federal civil government.

Background on SI International
SI International is a leading US Federal Government services contractor providing business process outsourcing and technology services. The company combines highly skilled, highly security cleared people with sophisticated technology to deliver policy outcomes.

SI International was founded in 1998, and floated on NASDAQ in 2002. Headquartered in Reston, VA, the company employs around 4,500 people.

In the year to 29 December 2007, SI International’s Adjusted operating profit was US$42.7m and Adjusted profit before tax was US$35.8m on revenue of US$510.8m. 53% of revenues were from federal civilian agencies and 46% from the Department of Defense, with the remainder from commercial entities. 79% of revenues were from prime contracts.

In the first half to 28 June 2008, SI International’s Adjusted operating profit was US$17.7m and Adjusted profit before tax was US$14.4m on revenue of US$277.2m. At 28 June 2008, SI International had gross assets of US$455.0m. Net debt at 28 June 2008 was US$87.3m.

The consensus of analyst’s forecasts for SI International for the financial year to December 2008 is for adjusted EBITDA of US$41.6m and Adjusted operating profit of US$37.3m on revenue of US$573.5m (see “Financial Information”).

Management of the combined business
On closing, the enlarged Serco North America business will be led by its current Chairman and CEO, Ed Casey, who joined Serco in 2005. He will lead a management team consisting of senior members of both SI International and Serco.

Financial effect of the acquisition on Serco
The integration of SI International and Serco North America is expected to generate opportunities for cost efficiencies from the combination of head offices, finance and information technology. Annualised cost savings in excess of US$10m, a substantial proportion of which are associated with SI International no longer being a public company, are expected to be realised by the end of the second full year of ownership.
The acquisition is expected to be accretive to Serco’s Adjusted earnings in its first full year of ownership, and its returns are expected to meet Serco’s cost of capital in the third full year of ownership.

The acquisition of SI International will be funded from £700m of new fully committed multi-currency bank debt facilities, which will also refinance Serco’s existing bank debt. The new facilities have a term of five years. The financing for SI International will be drawn in US dollars, giving an expected funding cost of around 5.5%.
Shareholder approval and regulatory clearances

The acquisition is subject to SI International shareholder approval as well as the regulatory approvals, including Hart-Scott-Rodino and Exon-Florio, and customary closing conditions.

The acquisition is expected to complete before the end of 2008.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Strategic Partnering of IAF and Industry “Indair 2008” Concludes

Strategic Partnering of IAF and Industry “Indair 2008” Concludes
17:11 IST

To support the modernization and indigenization opportunities in IAF, a two day international seminar cum exhibition “INDAIR 2008” was organized at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The seminar was jointly conducted by Maintenance Command of IAF and CII. The event saw participation of reputed manufacturers of weapon system, both foreign and indigenous with the theme ‘Strategic partnering of IAF and industry on modernization and indegenisation’. The seminar was inaugurated by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Sh AK Antony.

Speaking in his key note address, the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal FH Major said,” India has an increasing role in world affairs, and in keeping with that, the Indian Air Force is in the midst of an exciting transformation. No nation can be a major power without a high level of technological capability and a capacity to meet basic need indigenously. Technology is the core of an Air Force. The IAF operates and maintains equipment across the entire spectrum, from the state of the art to the older generation. The coming decades are full of challenges. The IAF seeks to exploit space, handle smart weapons, use information management tools and other revolutionary technology”.

During the seminar, discussions on indigenization included a session each on airborne spares and aviation grade material. A special session was also devoted to avionics, testers and software and its criticality. The modernization plan by the IAF for its BRDs and EDs were discussed to provide inputs for wider participation of the industry during the implementation stage.

Two distinct needs of the IAF have been articulated.. One-the well understood small indigenization to meet the requirements of substitution of components from the existing fleets. The Second- indigenous contribution towards design and development of components for new acquisitions: further going on to development of systems.

The seminar, having focused on IAF requirements and possible areas of association with the industry, has brought out, beyond doubt, the potential of a vibrant Indian Industry. Alongside provisions for Govt bearing development cost, a very forthright expression from a few industries to share the risks is an exceptionally healthy sign. The resolution that together it would be possible to contribute towards the national goal of self reliance has come out most unambiguously.

Speaking on the valedictory session, Hon’ble Raksha Rajya Mantri Sh M M Pallam Raju said,

“Today, Indian industry has matured significantly and its presence is being felt all over the world. Self reliance of the Indian Armed forces is a paramount importance to both the Govt and Indian industry. Ministry of Defence is committed to help defence forces in its pursuit of self reliance and modernization. Emerging technologies and synergisation of public and private industry with Defence will be of immense gain to achieve higher levels of preparedness in the Armed Forces besides effecting significant savings to the exchequer”.


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High Court rejects defence job cuts challenge

High Court rejects defence job cuts challenge


The High Court has turned down a legal challenge to the terms on which the Ministry of Defence is seeking to cut the jobs of 5,000 civilian staff.

The Prospect union, which represents 16,000 defence professionals, last week asked the court to declare the MOD’s early release scheme (ERS) unlawful on the grounds that it only seeks to pay cheaper ‘flexible’ severance payments in making staff redundant, rather than the more favourable ‘compulsory’ severance terms.

But the provisional judgment delivered by Justice Wyn Williams ruled that MOD was within its rights under the civil service management code in offering the cheaper flexible terms.

Prospect had argued that MOD’s scheme was flawed as the department had failed to identify which groups of workers were in surplus and vulnerable to redundancy, as required by the code and the civil service compensation scheme.

However, the court did not deliver a definitive interpretation of the code’s status, as it was asked to do by the union.

Steve Jary, Prospect National Secretary, said: “This is a bizarre judgement which would enable any employer to drive a coach and horses through any agreement to regulate terms and conditions of employment.

“The union’s intention was to preserve the right balance of skilled jobs within MOD and challenge its cavalier attitude to binding agreements. MOD will now lose thousands of good quality skilled staff simply because they are cheaper to get rid of.”

Critical skills that are needed by the organisation should have been identified as part of the cuts programme from the outset, says Prospect. MOD already has skills shortages in science and engineering and a planned increase in demand for those skills on the new aircraft carrier contract and Trident.

The union is now taking legal advice on an appeal, which it has been granted 14 days to consider by the Treasury Solicitors. In the meantime, negotiations are also taking place with MOD on how the decision should be implemented and other issues relating to the programme of job losses.

The full judgment will be available in a week.

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Raytheon Systems Excel as LPD 20 Passes US Navy Acceptance Trials

Raytheon Systems Excel as LPD 20 Passes US Navy Acceptance Trials

TEWKSBURY, Mass., Aug. 27, 2008 /PRNewswire/ -- Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) today announced satisfactory system performance onboard the USS Green Bay (LPD 20) as it completed its acceptance trials.

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) is the total ship electronics systems integrator for the LPD 17 class of amphibious transport dock ships.

The trials, which were held at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding facilities in New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico, demonstrated the performance and capabilities of Raytheon systems integrated onboard, including ship control and navigation, engineering control, voice and video communications, magnetic signature control systems, and the Shipboard Wide Area Network.

"The completion of these acceptance trials continues our legacy of reliability and proven performance as the Mission Systems Integrator for LPD 17 and our other Navy programs," said Robert Martin, IDS vice president and deputy of Seapower Capability Systems. "This milestone is a critical step toward delivering the advanced capabilities of the LPD 17 class to the Navy and our warfighters."

The acceptance trials, conducted by the U.S. Navy's Board of Inspection and Survey, represent the final construction milestone prior to ship delivery. The assessment consists of in-port and at-sea system testing and is conducted to demonstrate vessel performance and seaworthiness to the Navy.

The USS Green Bay is the fourth ship of the advanced LPD 17 class of amphibious transport dock ships. They provide the Navy's Expeditionary Strike Group with the technology and flexibility to launch and recover amphibious landing craft, such as the Landing Craft Air Cushion, operate an array of rotary-wing aircraft, as well as transport and launch the U.S. Marine Corps' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. The LPD 17 class, built by Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, will replace the functions of the LPD 4, LSD 36, LKA 113, and LST 1179 classes of amphibious ships.

In addition to its role as the total ship electronics systems integrator for LPD 17, IDS is the prime contractor for life-cycle engineering and support of Raytheon-designed and developed equipment aboard the ship. Raytheon's work on the LPD 17 program is performed at the Expeditionary Warfare Center, San Diego, Calif.; Seapower Capability Center, Portsmouth, R.I.; and by Raytheon Technical Services Company in New Orleans and San Diego.

Integrated Defense Systems is Raytheon's leader in Global Capabilities Integration providing affordable, integrated solutions to a broad international and domestic customer base, including the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. Armed Forces and the Department of Homeland Security.

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DALLAS, TX, August 27th, 2008 -- Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has received a $61 million follow-on contract for Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Unitary rockets. To date, more than 850 GMLRS rockets have been fired in the Global War on Terror.

Work on the contract will be performed at the company’s facilities inCamden, AR, and Dallas, TX. Deliveries will begin in May 2010 and conclude in July of that year.

“GMLRS delivers precision when Warfighters need it most, especially effective in urban areas,” said Lt. Col. Drew Clanton, the GMLRS product manager at the U.S. Army’s Precision Fires, Rockets and Missiles program management office in Huntsville, AL. “The system’s readiness rates support the consistent quality we expect, and its accuracy helps keep civilians out of harm’s way.”

GMLRS provides the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and the United Kingdom Defense Forces with a persistent, responsive, all-weather, rapidly-deployable, long range, surface-to-surface, precision strike weapon. Reliability of U.S. Army GMLRS missions exceeds 98 percent.

“Soldiers continue to tell us how satisfied they are with GMLRS, because it’s ready when it needs to be and can hit precision targets from 85 kilometers away, a new distance record recently recorded at tests at White Sands Missile Range,” said Scott Arnold, vice president for Precision Fires and Combat Maneuver Systems at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. “Just as in previous orders, we are committed to delivering GMLRS to the quality and dependability on which our customers have come to rely.”

The GMLRS and High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) government/industry teams were the recipients of the William J. Perry Award for Precision Strike in 2007. The Perry Award recognizes public or private sector achievements that result in significant contributions to the development, introduction or support of precision strike systems. The GMLRS/HIMARS team was recognized for outstanding contributions by providing revolutionary surface-to-surface precision engagement capability to joint and coalition combat commanders.

GMLRS is an all-weather, precision strike, artillery rocket system that achieves greater range and precision accuracy requiring fewer rockets to defeat targets and limiting collateral damage. GMLRS is a Future Force system that provides the joint Warfighter with immediate, precision fires to engage, destroy and deny terrain to the enemy.

GMLRS is also effective against counter-fire, air defense, light materiel and personnel targets. The system incorporates a GPS-aided inertial guidance package integrated on a product improved rocket body. Additionally, small canards on the guided rocket nose add maneuverability to further enhance the accuracy of the system.

HIMARS can accommodate the entire family of MLRS munitions, including all variants of the GMLRS rocket and Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) missiles. Designed to enable troops to engage and defeat artillery, air defense concentrations, trucks, light armor and personnel carriers, as well as support troop and supply concentrations, HIMARS can move away from the area at high speed following missile launch, well before enemy forces are able to locate the launch site.

Because of its C-130 transportability, HIMARS can be deployed into areas previously inaccessible to heavier launchers and provides a force multiplier to the modular brigade. It also incorporates the self-loading, autonomous features that have made MLRS the premier rocket artillery system in the world. HIMARS carries a single six-pack of MLRS rockets, or one ATACMS missile. HIMARS is currently employed in support of the Global War on Terror.

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Boeing Appoints Charlie Miller to Lead International Communications

Boeing Appoints Charlie Miller to Lead International Communications

CHICAGO, Aug. 27, 2008 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] named Charlie Miller vice president of International Corporate Communications, reporting to Tom Downey, senior vice president of Communications, and Shep Hill, president of Boeing International.

Miller, 52, will be based in London and lead Boeing's team of communications directors and outside agencies working in more than 30 key markets around the globe. He will oversee all communications activities for the company outside the United States, including media relations.

"This is an important appointment for Boeing given the global scope of our business and expanding international presence," said Downey. "Charlie will work with Boeing leaders across the company to further sharpen our focus in key strategic markets and improve communications with our stakeholders globally."

He succeeds Matthew de la Haye, who had served in the role since April 2000.

For the past five years, Miller has spearheaded Boeing's communications efforts across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to that, he was communications director for the United Kingdom. Before joining Boeing in 2001, he was Head of News at BAE Systems following a 20-year career in journalism. He earned a bachelor's degree in French from University College London.

"International Corporate Communications is the core function that connects our global audiences with Boeing, and Charlie's experience and demonstrated leadership capabilities will help us drive those connections to strengthen our local presence, shape markets and grow the business," said Boeing International President Hill.

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Boeing, US Navy Offer Super Hornet for Denmark Fighter Competition

Boeing, US Navy Offer Super Hornet for Denmark Fighter Competition

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 27, 2008 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] and the U.S. Navy delivered a proposal Aug. 15 offering the advanced F/A-18E/F Super Hornet to the Royal Danish Air Force as part of Denmark's New Combat Aircraft competition.

Boeing received a Request for Information from Denmark in May. The stated initial requirement is for 48 aircraft.

"The winner must present a good balance of capability, cost and risk, and be able to provide Danish industry with a viable and competitive long-term partnership," said Dan Korte, vice president and general manager for Global Strike Systems, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "We believe the Super Hornet is the best-value option and offers a winning solution for Denmark's fighter requirements."

The Super Hornet variant offered to Denmark is based on the F/A-18E/F model flown by the U.S. Navy and the 24 F/A-18Fs currently being produced for the Royal Australian Air Force. The Block II Super Hornet is the first operationally deployed strike fighter incorporating next-generation capabilities, including the Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.

"The Super Hornet has been a model acquisition program for the United States and the U.S. Navy, one that has continued to add capability while decreasing cost over its lifetime," said U.S. Navy Capt. James Kennedy, F/A-18 International Business deputy program manager. "The Super Hornet, with its small logistics footprint and high mission-readiness rates, will stand well in the competition since it enhances effective deployment in international operations. With the AESA radar now fully onboard, the two-seat F/A-18F is providing unmatched aircrew situational awareness and taking air combat capabilities to new levels, as we can now seamlessly execute same-time air and ground missions. This is truly an aircraft that delivers tomorrow's capabilities today."

Boeing has delivered more than 360 Super Hornets to the U.S. Navy, all on or ahead of the original production delivery schedule. Australia has ordered 24 Super Hornets to bolster its fleet of F/A-18 Hornets, and Boeing is in discussions with several other international customers about their interest in procuring the Super Hornet.

On July 30, Boeing delivered a proposal to the Brazilian Air Force offering 36 Super Hornets for Brazil's F-X2 fighter competition. On Aug. 4, Boeing submitted a comprehensive industrial-participation proposal to the government of India in support of the company's offer of 126 Super Hornets to the Indian Air Force for India's Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft program.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The following promotion has been made to date 3rd Jul. 2008:
Commander to Captain:
Allkins, Helen L.

The following promotions have been made to date 16th June 2008:
Sub Lieutenant to Lieutenant:
Cantillon, Lloyd M.
Cockcroft, Kim M.

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London Gazette: Royal Navy appointments

London Gazette: Royal Navy appointments
26th August 2008

The following promotion has been made to date 1st Jul. 2008:
Captain to Commodore:
Lowe, Timothy M.

The following promotion has been made to date 29th Jul. 2008:
Captain to Commodore:
Evans, Karl N. M., OBE.

The following promotions have been made to date 1st Aug. 2008:
Sub Lieutenant to Lieutenant:
Clarkson, Paul J. I.
David, Ian.
Keyworth, Mark A.
Lane, Elizabeth H.
Stephenson, John.
Williams, Nicola M.

The following promotion has been made to date 15th Jul. 2008:
Commander to Captain:
Parsons, Christopher G.

The following promotion has been made to date 5th Aug. 2008:
Commander to Captain:
Hayes, James V. B.

The following promotions have been made to date 1st Aug. 2008:
Sub Lieutenant to Lieutenant:
Blakeman, Philip M.
Greason, Paul A.
Hayes, Leigh C.
Howell, Andrew J.

The following promotion has been made to date 22nd Jul. 2008:
Commander to Captain:
Tothill, Nicholas M.

The following promotions have been made to date 1st Aug. 2008:
Sub Lieutenant to Lieutenant:
Akerman, Andrew E.
Cane, Jonathan N.
Durbin, Philip J.
Munnelly, John P.
Murphy, Michael P.
Pizii, Jane V.
Prosser, Jason W.

The following promotion has been made to date 8th Aug. 2008:
Surgeon Commander to Surgeon Captain:

Hughes, Paul A.
The following promotion has been made to date 12th Aug. 2008:
Surgeon Commander to Surgeon Captain:
Aitchison, Kenneth J.

The following promotion has been made to date 1st Aug. 2008:
Sub Lieutenant to Lieutenant:
Tagg, Peter W.

The following promotions have been made to date 1st Jul. 2008:
Colonel to Brigadier:
Davis, Edward G. M., OBE.
Hook, David A.

The following promotion has been made to date 18th Jul. 2008:
Colonel to Brigadier:
Chicken, Simon T., OBE.

The following promotion has been made to date 8th Jul. 2008:
Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel:
Gray, Mark N. MBE.

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RAND: Sustaining Key Skills in the UK Naval Industry

Sustaining Key Skills in the UK Naval Industry

By: Hans Pung, Laurence Smallman, Mark V. Arena, James G. Kallimani, Gordon T. Lee, Samir Puri, John F. Schank

To preserve its ability to design, build, and support complex warships and submarines, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) will need to preserve and sustain several key technical skills in the maritime domain, particularly those of designers and engineers at various stages of surface ship and submarine acquisition and support. Its current naval acquisition programme, comprising several classes of vessels (such as the Astute-class attack submarine and the Future Aircraft Carrier), has brought forward questions regarding the MOD's ability to design, build, and support the intended fleet size. Building on prior RAND research, this monograph explores in greater detail the need for and retention of specific technical skills in the UK's naval industrial base. It investigates the relationship between the demand created by the MOD's surface ship and submarine acquisition programme and the technical workforce needed to design, build, and support those war vessels. The results reveal that, although the MOD has taken into account the need for these skills, its future naval programme likely will have to be modified or augmented to sustain these technical skills in the long term. In particular, the MOD needs to nurture design and engineering skills to bridge current and future gaps as its naval acquisition programme moves forward.

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RAND: Sustaining Key Skills in the UK Naval Industry

Sustaining Key Skills in the UK Naval Industry

By: Hans Pung

To preserve its ability to design, build, and support complex warships and submarines, the UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) will need to preserve and sustain several key technical skills in the maritime domain. In particular, it will need detailed designers and professional engineers for various stages of surface ship and submarine acquisition and support. Although the MOD has taken into account the requirement for these skills, its future maritime programme is likely to have to undergo modification or be augmented in order to sustain these technical skills in the long term.

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RAND: The Defense Acquisition Workforce

The Defense Acquisition Workforce: An Analysis of Personnel Trends Relevant to Policy, 1993-2006

By: Susan M. Gates, Edward G. Keating, Adria D. Jewell, Lindsay Daugherty, Bryan Tysinger, Albert A. Robbert, Ralph Masi

The defense acquisition workforce includes more than 130,000 military and civilian personnel responsible for providing a wide range of acquisition, technology, and logistics support to the nation's warfighters. This report summarizes workforce analyses that RAND has undertaken in support of the Defense Acquisition University, which is responsible for strategic human capital management of that workforce. It covers the civilian acquisition workforce, the careers of acquisition workforce senior executive service members, and the military acquisition workforce and its implications for the larger workforce. It also describes an inventory projection model that uses data on the civilian acquisition workforce as a key input. The authors conclude that better definition and tracking of the acquisition workforce would improve workforce planning and that workforce analysis is only one step in an overall strategic human capital planning effort.

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RAND: Why Has the Cost of Fixed-Wing Aircraft Risen?

Why Has the Cost of Fixed-Wing Aircraft Risen?: A Macroscopic Examination of the Trends in U.S. Military Aircraft Costs over the Past Several Decades

By: Mark V. Arena, Obaid Younossi, Kevin Brancato, Irv Blickstein, Clifford A. Grammich

This report explores why, in recent decades, military fixed-wing aircraft costs have escalated beyond the rates of commonly used inflation indices, examining both economy-driven factors that the Services cannot control and customer-driven ones that they can. The authors found that this trend of cost increases is true for all types of aircraft — patrol, cargo, trainer, bomber, attack, fighter, and electronic warfare. Economy-driven variables examined include costs for labor, equipment, and material. Customer-driven ones include the costs of providing the performance characteristics that the Services want in their aircraft. The study found several reasons for cost escalation: the increased demand for greater aircraft stealth, the requirement for reduced aircraft weight, and government regulations designed to protect American industry and technology, the environment, and occupational health. Several options to reduce cost escalation are examined, including encouraging international competition for aircraft manufacture, stabilizing procurement rates, and incorporating “lessons learned” from prior development programs. Until this cost trend is curbed, the government will be able to afford fewer, increasingly expensive aircraft, especially if long-term defense investment spending remains relatively constant.

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Boeing Awarded US Army Contract for 191 CH-47F Chinook Helicopters

ST. LOUIS, Aug. 26, 2008 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a five-year U.S. Army contract valued at $4.3 billion for 181 CH-47F Chinooks and 10 additional Chinooks under Fiscal Year 2008 supplemental funding. There are options in the award for an additional 24 aircraft over the course of the contract.

"This multiyear award will yield a cost savings of more than $449 million for the U.S. Army and taxpayers," said Jack Dougherty, vice president, Boeing H-47 Programs. "This also builds security into our production schedule for the next five years, stabilizing the work force for Boeing and for our supplier partners in more than 45 states."

"The Army is committed to providing an outstanding CH-47F Chinook aircraft to our soldiers in the field," said Col. Newman Shufflebarger, Army project manager for Cargo Helicopters. "This multiyear award not only allows the Army to field this important aircraft at a substantial savings, but enabled the contractor to enter long-term agreements for specialty metals, to include titanium, which significantly reduced long-lead times for these critical materials. The Army was able to reduce the lead time associated with a new-build aircraft by six months."

Also from the U.S. Army, Lt. Col. Thomas H. Todd III, product manager for CH-47F, said, "This multiyear settlement is the result of the tireless efforts of government and Boeing representatives. It ensures that our soldiers will maintain a technological advantage over our adversaries when it comes to heavy-lift missions."

"A long-term contract commitment is good for the warfighter, the Army customer and U.S. business," said Ken Eland, chief engineer for Boeing Tandem Rotor Programs and capture team leader for the company's CH-47F multiyear pursuit. "This award enables Boeing and our Team Chinook partners to make capital investments to reduce lead times for parts and components, improve parts availability and provide for a more accurate delivery schedule, which will enable greater precision in fielding the Chinook to U.S. Army units."

Boeing Rotorcraft Systems has delivered 48 CH-47F helicopters to the U.S. Army to date and has fully trained and equipped two units, with a third unit scheduled to stand up in August. Since the aircraft received its combat-ready certification from the Army in 2007, the F-model has completed several thousand flight hours, including deployments to Liberia in support of U.S. President George Bush, and is currently undergoing its first deployment to Iraq.

As with its predecessors, the CH-47F continues to excel across the full spectrum of operational missions, including air assault, combat re-supply, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, and transport operations.

Built at the Boeing Rotorcraft Systems facility in Ridley Township, Pa., the CH-47F helicopter delivers greater mission-critical capability for the warfighter with a newly designed, improved airframe, a Rockwell Collins Common Avionics Architecture System (CAAS) cockpit, and a BAE-designed Digital Advanced Flight Control System (DAFCS).

The CAAS greatly improves aircrew situational awareness, and DAFCS provides dramatically improved flight-control capabilities through the entire flight envelope, significantly improved performance and safety in the harshest of environments.

CAAS also incorporates an advanced digital map display and a data transfer system that allows storing of preflight and mission data. Improved survivability features include the Common Missile Warning and Improved Countermeasure Dispenser systems.

Powered by two 4,733-horsepower Honeywell engines, the new CH-47F can reach speeds greater than 175 mph and transport more than 21,000 pounds. The CH-47F, with the Robertson Aviation Extended Range Fuel System, has a mission radius of more than 400 nautical miles.

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Seminar on Indigenisation and Modernisation of Indian Air Force (Indair 2008)

Seminar on Indigenisation and Modernisation of Indian Air Force (Indair 2008)
16:1 IST

In the face of rapid technological advancements and induction of new generation equipment in Indian Air Force, indigenization and modernisation of maintenance infrastructure has assumed a very significant role. IAF is on look out for modern repair facilities right from tools, testers, automation in repairs to material handling equipment for keeping it a highly vibrant and agile force. Indigenisation of weapon system and modernisation of maintenance facilities are closely inter-related and form the guiding principle for self reliance, self sufficiency and reduction of dependency on sources abroad. The industry has a very significant role to play in this regard.

The IAF vision for indigenisation is not limited to only a one-to-one replacement of imported items, but aims at improving upon operational efficiency and reliability through re-engineering, ab-initio design and technology enhancement. IAF is more than willing to extend full support to the entrepreneur or established industry in their contribution towards indigenisation and modernisation. At the same time, IAF is endeavoring to expand the range of indigenisation to include complex and high cost items, which may generate substantial business for the industry. It is now for the industry to make use of this opportunity to collaborate and consolidate their gains. In the longer run, the growth and additional opportunities would far outweigh the difficulties involved in the process, and in doing so, industry would not only be finding new avenues but, will also contribute towards the national objective of self-reliance.

Emerging industries within India have carved a niche for research and development and production of international quality products in the recent years. The cherished mission of IAF to make it self reliant is feasible only with the support and participation of Indian industry and in fact, today Indian industry has matured to take on this demanding role. IAF has joined hands with Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), for bringing the industry and IAF on a common platform to interact and initiate a strategic alliance.

To explore the indigenisation and modernisation opportunities in IAF and to make it a reality, a two day international level seminar, named ‘INDAIR 2008’, is organised at Vigyan Bhawan on 26 – 27 Aug 08. The seminar and exhibition is jointly sponsored by Maintenance Command, IAF and CII. The event have participation of reputed manufacturers of weapon systems, both foreign & indigenous, dignitaries from MoD & IAF, academicians, QA agencies and CII officials. The theme of the seminar is “Strategic partnering of IAF and Industry on modernisation and indigenisation”. The event would provide an impetus to the process of indigenisation and modernisation of production, maintenance and inventory management infrastructure in IAF, with a focus on Base Repair Depots (BRDs) & Equipment Depots (EDs). This would benefit the industry as well and provide a trigger for their growth and an opportunity to participate in production and maintenance of Defence weapon system of the country.

The seminar is inaugurated by Hon’ble Raksha Mantri Sh AK Antony and key note address delivered by the Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal FH Major PVSM AVSM SC VM ADC. Air Officer Commanding in Chief Maintenance Command Air Marshal Gautam Nayyar VSM delivered the theme address.

Hon’ble Raksha Utpadan Rajya Mantri Rao Inderjit Singh inaugurated the exhibition depicting the industry potential and IAF needs for the indigenisation and modernization of its maintenance infrastructure.


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26 Aug 2008 | Ref. 231/2008

Lancashire – BAE Systems has appointed a former Royal Navy Sea Harrier pilot as its new Chief Test Pilot – Combat & Training Aircraft for the company’s Military Air Solutions business.

Exeter-born Paul Stone served 21 years in the Royal Navy where he commanded both front line Sea Harrier Squadrons (800 and 801 Naval Air Squadrons). He also served as the UK test pilot for the Joint Strike Fighter X-32 concept demonstrator programme working in the USA. Before joining BAE Systems, he spent two years in the UK MoD defining the requirements for the Joint Strike Fighter, the F35 Lightning ll, parts of which are now being built by BAE Systems in Lancashire.

Since joining the company Paul has been working as an experimental test pilot in supporting Typhoon, Harrier and Hawk programmes. He said: “This job matters to me because it is an opportunity to use the skills that I have developed over the last 20 years to make a difference and to influence the future of military aircraft flight test.”

Paul still gets a ‘rush’ from flying, but says: “It is a very different rush from the one you get as a fresh faced fighter pilot on your first tour of duty. I think most aircrew would agree the absolute exhilaration you get as a youngster, doing things for the first time, is replaced by a more measured experience in test-flying. It means we can still draw on the excitement, but focus more on evaluating things like the weapon system in a professional and more dispassionate manner.”

With more and more emphasis now being given to pilotless planes, Paul says the future offers “a mixed journey for test pilots because everyone knows the future is more aligned to unmanned air systems and more automation in general - but this does not mean that test pilots can't add value.”

He said: “Even though the ability to assess handling qualities is now, argueably, less important, it will be a long transformation. We will continue to operate manned aircraft for some considerable time and these will need to be upgraded and tested. Aircraft weapon systems are evolving incredibly fast and this is still a major part of our work. As we move to unmanned systems the company can draw on over 150 years of combined military experience within our Flight Test Team aircrew who have served in every theatre of operations since the Falklands Conflict. “

Paul, who is married with two children, now lives in Lytham St Annes and has just completed an MBA at the Lancaster Business Management School.

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